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Senior finishes fourth year on varsity tennis, looks ahead to college

November 10, 2016

Throughout its over a century and a half of existence, Central High School has established itself not only a center for academic achievement, but also one of athletic excellence and of stories legacies between familial generations. Senior Matthew Stobbe has partook in all three of these aspects of the Eagle Way, including being a key member of the boys varsity tennis team and the success they had this past season.

Stobbe was born in Omaha, and has lived here all his life, living in the Dundee neighborhood and attending Saint Margaret Marys through the end of junior high school. He said that one of the most difficult tasks he has faced in his life was the transition from small private school to large public school, because it was a “drastic change,” but having his older brother Jack there helped smooth the transition. Even beginning in those early days, Stobbe has enjoyed sports and the attainment of knowledge as he has pursued both during his high school years, taking honors and Advanced Placement classes as well as continuing his passion for tennis, which he began playing 13 years ago.

When it came to choosing a high school, Stobbe said he was given “full freedom of choice,” but he decided on Central because of his brother’s experiences there and the fact his mother was also a graduate of the Nest. Going into his freshman year, Stobbe knew other students who had chosen Central as well, but he also wanted to make new groups of friends. Putting this desire together with his love of tennis, he followed his brother on the team, where he said, “The feeling of winning a tennis match is irreplaceable. It’s a combination of physical, mental and technical and tactical skills. If you lose a match, there’s no one to blame but yourself and that drives you to improve your game even further.”

Stobbe followed the pre-IB academic track, so he could take the dual science credits during his sophomore year, following which he entered the AP track, continuing his emphasis on science courses like AP Physics C. He attributed this dedication to mathematics and science to his future career interests, as following graduation he intends to attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in order to pursue an engineering degree. He said his interest in engineering stemmed from his parents both working for the Army Corps of Engineers and they have “always had a large impact on my life,” he added.

This last tennis season was on of the Central boy’s best in recent memory, with the team placing second at the Papillion Lavista South Invite and then first at the Lincoln Invite and ultimately ninth place at the state matches. Playing both doubles and singles, Stobbe said he had a fairly solid season and that the time was well spent as he also was able to form many friendships. “This last tennis season has been some of the most fun I’ve ever had. We did better than we’ve ever done before. I love all the guys on the team,” he said.

Looking back at his last three years and the experiences he has had along with them, Stobbe said the friendships and time with his brother are what stands out to him, as, “I’ll never forget all the friends I’ve made and the fun I’ve had. Having my brother at Central was a lot of fun, especially playing tennis with/against him. We have an unspoken connection on the tennis team that no other doubles team can match.”

In regards to Central, Stobbe said, “It has opened my eyes to the many different kinds of people in this world and taught me the importance of a college education,” and to any undecided students out there wondering whether or not to step onto the courts, he added, “All students should give tennis a try. It’s easy to learn and fun to play, and you most certainly will make some lasting friendships.”

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